Tag Archives: Alcohol Market

Anti-counterfeiting Technologies to Stop Fake Alcohol Market

Even as new technologies to prevent fake liquor emerge, there are still many hacks who think of devious ways to push the fake business. This needs to be taken head on.

This November, Haryana reported 20 deaths due to consumption of illicit liquor. On and off, we hear of incidents wherein illicit/fake liquor takes toll of human lives, besides upsetting genuine liquor business. Even as new technologies emerge, there are still many hacks who think of devious ways to push the fake business. That needs to be taken head on.

Counterfeit wines and beverages pose a significant danger, causing a loss of US$3.18 billion in direct sales and costing governments US$2.61 billion in tax revenues, states Vikas Jain, Founder of Acviss Technologies. He states that counterfeiters have been able to pull off frauds that would have looked impossible a decade ago, now with the help of technologies. And by leveraging e-commerce platforms and social media they are able to distribute their products across the world as well.

But what is fake liquor? Fake or illegally produced alcohol is that which is produced in unlicensed distilleries or people’s homes and intended for sale. Production of fake alcohol is more likely to use cheaper versions of alcohol, and contain potentially even more dangerous chemicals, unlike alcohol which primarily uses ethanol. There is no way of knowing for certain the ingredients contained in fake or illegally produced alcohol, there lies the risk of drinking it.

The Food Safety and Standards (Alcoholic Beverages) Regulations, 2018 has in detail listed out what companies need to take care of, including labelling, while manufacturing and selling all kinds of spirits, beer and wine. However, the illicit and fake liquor business in India is thriving and many times with impunity. So, it is for the liquor manufacturing companies to secure their businesses, using technologies, intel and other means.

Fake market growing

Reports indicate that in India alone there were over 6,000 deaths due to poor-quality or fake liquor in the last six years. With the Indian alcohol market growing at a CAGR of 8.8% and it was to reach 16.8 billion litres of consumption by end 2022, the fake market too is growing. As per the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), the illicit alcoholic beverage market size in value terms stood at ₹23,466 crores in 2019-20.

As excise comes under the purview of the State and each of the 29 States (Gujarat, Bihar and Nagaland have prohibition) and seven Union Territories have their own ways of regulating liquor trade. There are avenues for fake liquor, interstate smuggling of liquor etc. depending upon where the market is lucrative. The onus lies on the brands to protect their interests as counterfeiting goes beyond the labels, bottle designs and caps.

Counterfeit trade flourishes 

Says Vikas Jain, “Counterfeit beverages are being abundantly available in the market and there doesn’t seem to be an end to it. Fake alcohol products that are produced illegally or use sub-par ingredients and don’t meet security and safety standards. The counterfeit trade has already cost the Indian government a loss of ₹1 trillion in taxes in recent years.”

Common malpractices

Mr. Jain mentions that the most commonly used malpractices in the alcoholic beverage industry include –

Bottle Recycling: Counterfeiters collect empty authentic bottles, refill them with inferior or fake products, and reseal them with counterfeit labels and closures.

Label Forgery: By using high-quality printing techniques and materials, counterfeiters create fake labels that closely resemble authentic branding and design.

Blending and Dilution: One of the most widely practised counterfeit techniques is to mix lower-quality alcohol or water base with small amounts of original ones to create the illusion of authenticity. This leaves the consumers convinced that they have purchased the original product and won’t raise much suspicion.

Implementing a clear and standardised labelling

Asked how brands can protect themselves from counterfeiting, Mr. Jain mentions that the starting point would be implementing clear and standardised labelling with detailed information about the product, including origin, production methods and quality certifications. “One of the best visual identifiers to prevent counterfeiting is to use a highly recognisable and unique bottle shape. This helps the customers to directly identify the brand and verify its authenticity without using another method of authentication. Conduct regular campaigns to raise awareness about the risks of counterfeit alcohol and the importance of purchasing from reputable sources. Work closely with retailers to ensure that they are educated about the risks of counterfeit alcohol and can guide consumers in making informed choices. And obtain and display recognised quality certifications on the product packaging to signal authenticity and adherence to industry standards.”

Incorporating non-replicable labels

Asked about how Acviss helps in combating the counterfeiting menace, Jain stated that “Acviss’s Certify helps to incorporate non-replicable, unique labels into your product or packaging. The best part is that they are tamper-resistant and act as a digital certificate for the products. Customers can easily scan and verify the authenticity of these products and quickly glance through the product and manufacturer information.

Acviss’s Origin tracks your product through each stage of its lifecycle, from the manufacturer to distributor and the end consumer. This helps to learn the behaviour of the supply chain, increasing the visibility and locating the vulnerable points.”

Long run benefits

On the issue of anti-counterfeit solutions being expensive, Mr. Jain mentioned, “Yes, most companies see anti-counterfeit solutions as an unnecessary cost. But, frankly, anti-counterfeit solutions are an investment that can benefit the brand in the long term run. Not just to recover the profits, but also to retain customer trust and reach out to new audiences. The plus side with Acviss is, that our solutions can be customised according to the requirements of the brand which is more effective than a one-size-fits-all solution.”

To deal with this menace, brands have to think on different levels. “As technology is getting more and more advanced, counterfeiters are also finding new ways to bypass the existing preventive measures. But it doesn’t necessarily mean that the anti-counterfeit solutions are meaningless. If we take Acviss as an example, we have been constantly evolving and innovating new technologies to keep up with changing environments. We have also been able to surpass the existing measures and create groundbreaking inventions in the brand protection field lately by leveraging the AI and ML technologies.”

Mr. Chander S Jeena, Associate Director of the Authentication Solution Providers’ Association (ASPA) said, “The answer lies in the upgradation of current technologies, systems, and regulations to ensure end-to-end secure supply chain. For example, to prevent tampering, refilling, and ensure revenue protection, the tax stamps (excise adhesive label) must be enhanced with new generations’ overt (visible) and covert (hidden) security features to facilitate easy identification by important stakeholders in the supply chain. Further, there is a need for solutions to safeguard the movement of liquor supply. Many States are using geo-tagged ‘digital locks’ for liquor-carrying tankers, with GPS-based tracking services to track in transit consignments through distilleries, bottlers, company-owned bonded warehouses, and transporters. Widespread use of these solutions across the country can bring a drastic change in just a few years.”  

VINEXPO Delhi 2023 – All set to Roll

Keep an eye out for European Wines with Sommelier Devati Mallick

The stage is all set for VINEXPO Delhi 2023 to get underway tomorrow. While there is much to look forward to for the visitors, with many foreign producers gracing the event, the European Union (EU), located at Booth F50 in Hall 1B is expected to have a strong showing as the Region of Honour. The fair will be held from 7th– 9th December, 2023.

European wines, beers and spirits are more than alcoholic beverages, thanks to exceptional raw materials, timeless craftsmanship and unwavering safety standards. Europe is the birthplace of the world’s wine industry, and traditions of winemaking are proudly passed from generation to generation; they have defined European rural landscapes for centuries. Nowadays, the EU accounts for 45% of world’s wine-growing areas, 65% of wine production, 57% of global wine consumption and 70% of exports, making it the world leader in each of these categories.

A tradition of quality and excellence

More than 1700 European wines have Protected Designation of Origin (PDO) and Protected Geographical Indication (PGI) protections, serving as a guarantee of their authenticity and quality.  The consumers can enjoy these products in the knowledge that they have been produced to the highest quality and safety standard. Whatever your preference, you will find something to delight you among the wines of Europe. Red, white, rosé or sparkling wines from Europe can help make any occasion special.

European Union: The Region of Honour at SIAL and VINEXPO in New Delhi

What makes this year’s VINEXPO particularly noteworthy is the presence of over 50 company representatives, including 14representing wines and spirits sector, facilitating B2B matchmaking sessions on December 7 and 8. These sessions offer invaluable opportunities for Indian buyers, retailers, and distributors to connect with European businesses across various food and drink sectors

Moreover, the European Union’s VINEXPO booth will host a series of enlightening masterclasses on wines, beers and spirits. Each Masterclass, lasting 30 minutes, will feature a selection of beverages for tasting. Among these, the EU Masterclasses, led by renowned sommelier Devati Mallick, promises to be a highlight. As you sip and savour the wines, you’ll embark on a journey through Europe’s finest vineyards, guided by the expertise of a true connoisseur.

As we gear up for VINEXPO Delhi 2023, we invite you to join us in celebrating the union of tradition and innovation in European winemaking. Stay tuned for an unforgettable wine experience that promises to captivate your senses and leave you with a deeper appreciation for the world of wine.

Let’s raise our glasses to VINEXPO Delhi 2023, where European wines and spirit drinks will take center stage, and the EU’s commitment to vinicultural excellence, along with the expertise of Devati Mallick, will shine brighter than ever before.

The EU’s participation in SIAL and VINEXPO 2023 is part of its ‘More than Food’ campaign, actively promoting outstanding European agricultural products on a global stage. For the latest information and updates, visit the official ‘More than Food India‘ webpage.

For media inquiries, please contact: sial2023@agripromotion.eu

India’s alcobev market size of $52.4 billion targetted to touch astounding $64 billion by 2030

The International Spirits & Wines Association of India (ISWAI), the apex body of the premium alcobev sector, unveiled its report titled “Economic Value of the Indian Alcoholic Beverage Industry”, presenting it to Shri Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa and former CEO, NITI Aayog. This comprehensive report is a first-of-its-kind and takes an in-depth look at the vital elements and the significant roles played by the Indian alcobev sector.

The report offers valuable perspectives on the alcoholic beverage industry, highlighting its economic impact, patterns of consumption, and its positive effects on related industries like agriculture, tourism, and more.

Expressing her gratitude, Nita Kapoor, CEO, ISWAI, said, “I extend our heartfelt thanks to Shri Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa, on behalf of ISWAI for allocating the time to receive this crucial report. This is a significant moment for ISWAI and the broader industry, affirming the sector’s substantial relevance to the nation. The alcobev Industry serves as a pivotal economic engine, making it imperative for pertinent stakeholders to recognise and value our sector’s economic contributions.”

Nita Kapoor further emphasised, “The alcohol industry holds a vital position within the national economy, presenting opportunities for growth, job creation, and revenue generation. As we look to the future, the importance of the alcohol industry in India is poised to expand. Therefore, it is crucial to simplify its operational complexities, enhance its Ease of Doing Business (EODB), and unlock its full potential for growth.”

Shri Amitabh Kant, G20 Sherpa and former CEO, NITI Aayog, being presented a copy of the Report titled ‘Economic Value of the Indian Alcoholic Beverage Industry’ by Nita Kapoor, CEO, and Suresh Menon, Secretary-General of the International Spirits and Wines Association of India (ISWAI) at his office in New Delhi.

Key Highlights:

With an estimated market size of $52.4 billion in 2021, roughly 2% of the country’s nominal GDP, the Indian alcobev industry is significant and burgeoning (₹3.9 lakh crore, including country liquor).

Projections suggest the Indian alcoholic beverage industry could reach an astounding $64 billion over the next five years, ensuring India’s position as the fifth-largest contributor to global market revenues in the near to medium term.

In the fiscal year 2021, the industry contributed a significant ₹2.4 lakh crore in indirect taxes to the state governments, representing many income streams. Customs duty on alcoholic beverages alone accounted for ₹2,400 crore.

The alcohol revenues represent 1.2% of India’s nominal GDP, 7.7% of the total tax collection, and 11.7% of the nation’s indirect tax revenue. The sector contributes a significant 24.6% of the overall own tax revenues of the states.

Around 1,235 million litres of extra neutral alcohol (ENA) were used to produce Indian-made foreign liquor (IMFL) and ready-to-drink alcoholic beverages in 2021. It is estimated that to produce 741 million litres of extra neutral alcohol for IMFL, 1.9 million tonnes of grain are required. This amounts to 0.6% of India’s total grain production of 316 million tonnes in 2021-2022.

Approximately 724,611 farms and 36,23,057 farmers are involved in grain production for ENA. 2.9% of the persons employed in the agriculture, hunting, forestry, and fishery sectors are engaged in the production of grain/sugarcane/grapes utilised for ENA for spirits and wine.

The scope of the alcohol industry in terms of employment is remarkable at a staggering 79 lakh individuals, both directly and indirectly. This accounts for 1.5% of the total manpower employed in the country.

About 14-19% of the overall revenues of the organised F&B industry are dependent on the ₹28,000 crore sales of alcoholic beverages.

An enabling policy environment for the alcoholic beverage industry can thus drive investments, jobs, and exports. India-manufactured alcoholic beverages have large untapped export potential and should be treated like any other industry.

On the occasion, Suresh Menon, Secretary-General, ISWAI, remarked, “Beyond its substantial tax contributions, the industry plays a vital role in supporting farmers’ livelihoods. It is also intricately linked to the food and beverage, hospitality, tourism, and packaging sectors. With India’s demographic shift, the growth of the young and expanding middle class is projected to persist for several more decades, driving an increase in per capita consumption of various goods and services. Constructive governmental policies can streamline the ease of business in this sector, fostering a more conducive operational climate. By addressing and removing certain barriers, we can propel the sector’s growth to the advantage of all involved parties.”

Delhi Government to grant license for wholesale vends

The Delhi Government has decided to grant license in form L1, L1F and L2 for the wholesale vend of Indian liquor in the National Capital Region (NCR) of Delhi for the licensing year 2023-24 with effect from October 1, 2023.

The Excise Department has said that the prescribed forms can be obtained from its website and that there would be a processing fee of Rs. 5,000 for each license. The Department said that the terms and conditions for the licensing 2023-24 would be the same as that of 2022-23. The government said that it reserved the right to review the duties / fees to be paid / payable in case of any amendment to the law related to liquor and bonded warehouses.

The Department said that in case of existing licensees / registered brands active up to September 30, 2023 there is no change in the EDP / right structure / label / source warehouse etc. The registered brands for the year 2022-23 may be registered for 2023-24 on the same terms and conditions of the previous year, consequent to the payment of requisite fees and submission of undertaking / affidavit of the same.

It said that for new registration of brands applications received without complete information and supporting documents as required in the prescribed form along with annexures shall be liable to be rejected.

These changes are to ensure continuity of supply and the amendments will be in place till the new policy is formed. This will be third time the Delhi Government is giving the extension.

It may be mentioned here that the previous policy introduced in 2021 by the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) government had to be scrapped as it ended up in scandal which is currently under investigation.

The excise department has proposed to extend the existing 2020-21 liquor policy by six months till March 31, 2024, to ensure the continuity of liquor supply. The excise department will issue a formal order in this regard.

Expert welcomes policy

Mr. Raju Vaziraney, one of the veterans of the wine and spirits sector and presently Adviser and Business Development Head of Amrut Distilleries, has welcomed the policy saying technically it is a new policy thereby allowing new companies to get registered and pay one-time fees and not fees from retrospective effect. The Companies will be encouraged to bring – in new brands, thus ensure more variety of brands, more consumer choice. However, he said the new policy gave only two days for companies to submit all documents.

However, he reiterated that the salient features are a) Existing Licences to be renewed by giving an undertaking / affidavit; Existing licences are renewed till March 31, 2024; Existing brands with existing EDPs to continue till March 31, 2024; Existing brands to pay proportionate fees of six months and not  18 months as was the practise in the policy of 2022-23.

In order to ensure continuity of supplies the online transparent system worked overnight & supplies commenced from October 3, 2023. However in view of paucity of time lot of prominent brands are under process of being made available. Mr. Vaziraney said that however, the challenges are that Delhi will have to wait till six more months to get a full-term year policy with possible participation of private trade thereby offering a great buying experience. The vends at the airport could also open next year as presently a world class city like Delhi does not have any vends at the airports

It is expected that Delhi will have a full year policy which will bring-in consumer choice brands and also bring – in reforms in terms of more liquor stores, more in trade outlets, he added.

IWSR appoints Julie Harris as CEO

IWSR Drinks Market Analysis has announced the appointment of Julie Harris as its new CEO. The transition comes following Mark Meek’s decision to step back from the CEO role and to take up a non-executive director position within the company, the world’s leading source of data and intelligence for the $1.5 trillion global alcoholic beverage market.

Julie Harris joins from Comparison Technologies, a leading tech-enabled comparison and customer acquisition platform in the home digital services market, where she was CEO since 2019. Prior to this, Julie held several CEO roles across a number of sectors, including WGSN, the global leader in trend forecasting for the fashion and retail industry.

Julie Harris commented, “I am delighted to be joining the very talented team at IWSR at such an exciting stage in its evolution and to build on the phenomenal growth of the last few years. Mark leaves the company in fantastic shape and I look forward to working with our global teams to continue to develop new and exciting products for our valued clients.”

Under Mark Meek’s leadership, IWSR has delivered annual revenue growth of 20% and has significantly expanded the coverage and functionality of its core database. The company has also developed a range of new products, including annual strategic consumer sentiment studies on topical issues such as e-commerce, no-and-low alcohol drinks and the impact of Covid-19. In conjunction with its strong organic growth, IWSR has also completed the acquisition of Wine Intelligence France, broadening its coverage of the wine sector.

Julian Masters, managing partner at Bowmark Capital, leading private equity investor and IWSR majority shareholder, commented, “Mark has been both a great leader of IWSR and partner to Bowmark, driving transformational change during his tenure as CEO. We thank him for his significant contribution to the company’s success and are delighted that we will be continuing to work together in his new role. We look forward to working closely with Julie Harris on delivering IWSR’s next phase of growth and continued product development.”

Mark Meek said, “I’m incredibly proud of what the IWSR team has accomplished, with the support of Bowmark, since the management transitioned from our founder. The business has grown strongly, and we’ve considerably enlarged our talent base and product range. The future continues to look bright. So now, after nearly 10 years, I believe it is a great moment to hand over the reins of the business to the talented Julie Harris. I look forward to being part of the IWSR story as a non-executive and will give Julie all my support to ease her into the new role.”

Ron De Ugar Handcrafted Rum Review

The Ron De Ugar Rum comes from Ugar Sugars Works Ltd who have been in the Sugar business for about 75 years. And as you know that manufacturing ENA is a natural extension of being in this business and in line with that Ugar Sugar also has a portfolio of spirit products in the market. This is their first rum product and is priced at Rs. 1300 in Goa for a 750 ml bottle. The rum features a 42.8% ABV and is currently only available in Goa and Karnataka, with plans to launch it soon in others states as well.

Why the Name?

It is common to believe if this rum is from India? The name suggests that it might be an international product and honestly I also thought for it to be one at first glance. But this is a 100% Indian handcrafted Rum and it is manufactured in the Ugar Khurd region, which is a small hamlet in the erstwhile princely state of Sangli in the West of India, on the border of Maharashtra and Karnataka. The region is a sugar manufacturing-focused township with large areas under sugarcane cultivation, which is where the distillery is based and also of course this rum is also made there. And since this comes from the Ugar region, its named after it, the ‘Ron de’ has been added to give it some flair of course. 

Apart from the name there are few other interesting things about this Rum, and the most important is that this is made from cane spirits and not molasses. Most of the rums that you find in India are made from Molases, whisky’s also in fact. Much like Camicara Rum, which is also a small batch rum made from cane spirit, Ron De Ugar is mixed with mature 3-5 year rums and cane spirit.

Another interesting thing about this rum is the moniker on the rum. When you look at him it seems like an international figure, but this is actually Shivaji’s Naval Commander, Kanoji Angre, who use to monitor that belt and is also known as askilled navy chief hence used here. 

Kanoji Angre features as the moniker on the label

How is it made?

So, how exactly is this rum produced? The aged rums are combined with cane spirits and left to mature gradually in Oakwood casks. Afterward, they’re mixed with fragrant spices to create a unique flavour. This rum is crafted and bottled at the Ugar Sugar Works Ltd. in Ugar Khurd, located in the Belagavi district of Karnataka.

The Rum is matured in Oakwood Cask

Packaging:

Similar to many other rums available in this segment, it comes in a canister. A marron base colour along with gold letterings make it look good and the canister also has some night texture with the picture of the Naval Commander Kanoji Angre on it. The shape of the bottle is similar to that if Monkey Shoulder whisky somewhat.

The bottle looks like Monkey Shoulder Whisky

Nosing:

With an alcohol by volume (ABV) of 42.8%, this rum is undoubtedly smooth while nosing. Its sweetness carries note reminiscent of vanilla, which is evident from the aroma it imparts. There’s a distinct and clear vanilla scent. While there’s not much spiciness, the scent is deep and intense. Taking a whiff of this rum can also provide a pleasant sensation, gently expanding one’s nostrils.

Tasting:

Talking about the taste, as expected, it’s smooth. When the spirit enters the mouth, it feels refined, smooth and also warm. The spiciness hits you slightly late just as the vanilla sweetness fades away. There’s a lingering texture on the palate, offering a warm and comfortable feeling. Interestingly, although the spiciness isn’t obvious at first sip, it becomes evident shortly after. The spiciness is balanced and not overwhelming, providing a relaxed experience. The finish is prolonged, felt at the back of the throat, and carries a warm sensation with a subtle hint of spice. Despite the enticing aroma of vanilla and sweetness, these flavours don’t translate as strongly onto the palate. For a rum with a 42.8% ABVit goes down smoothly.

Conclusion:

Priced at ₹1300, this rum certainly falls into the premium category. It’s important to note that this isn’t a budget-friendly option, especially when considering potential higher costs in other states. But the makers are very clear that this is meant to be a handcrafted small batch rum. While the rum is good I would’ve been happier if it would’ve been priced at around Rs. 900 – 1000, it would’ve flown off the shelves then. But overall you must try this for sure, atleast once.

Royal Salute Launches King Charles III Edition

First created as a gift for Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II on the day of her Coronation in 1953, Royal Salute, the master of exceptional aged Scotch whisky, marks the start of a new era of contemporary monarchy with a precious limited-edition expression, the Royal Salute Coronation of King Charles III Edition.

Since its inception, Royal Salute has honoured the British Monarchy and marked significant milestones with unique expressions that represent and embody a moment in history. As the Scotch originated as a Coronation gift 70 years ago, there couldn’t be a more fitting moment for Royal Salute to pay homage once again.

Expertly crafted by Royal Salute Master Blender, Sandy Hyslop, the coveted expression is a timeless whisky to be treasured and savoured for years to come. A blend of over 53 rare malt and grain whiskies, to reflect the year Royal Salute was first crafted, the Royal Salute Coronation of King Charles III Edition is a beautifully rich and complex expression with notes of fresh redcurrants, dark chocolate praline, and freshly roasted chestnuts, and a palate of sweet figs and fresh ginger leading up to a long and rich finish with a playful spice.

Commenting on the precious release, Sandy Hyslop, said, “This expression is a momentous tribute to both the British Monarchy and Royal Salute’s unique origin story. I wanted to mark this memorable occasion with a blend that was as iconic and special as the original Royal Salute 21 Year Old Signature Blend that was created in honour of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 1953. Crafting this blend has been the perfect occasion to reflect on the innovative approach we’ve taken to blending whisky for the past 70 years, and a moment to look forward to what can be achieved in years to come.”

The Royal Salute Coronation of King Charles III Edition is housed in a Dartington Crystal decanter, tinted in a deep sapphire blue hue, reminiscent of the precious stones set within the Imperial State Crown. In keeping with Royal Salute’s signature style, the decanter is presented in a stunning wooden box inspired by the iconic Westminster Abbey, with details intricately chiselled into the wood, paying tribute to the historic setting of British Coronation ceremonies since 1066. The jewels and crests of each country forming Great Britain were the inspiration for the artwork inside the gift box, symbolising the unity under the Crown and enduring solidarity between the nations.

Only 500 precious bottles of the Royal Salute Coronation of King Charles III Edition will be available from April 2023, at selected specialist retailers for RRP $25,000 USD.  

Determination of adulterants in suspected liquor samples using chemical tests

Ramesh Kumar Pandey, Mahipal Singh Sankhla, Rajeev Kumar

Galgotias University, India

Correspondence: Mahipal Singh Sankhla, Research Scholar, Division of Forensic Science, SBAS, Galgotias University, Greater Noida, India

Received: July 31, 2018 | Published: August 31, 2018

Citation: Pandey RK, Sankhla MS, Kumar R. Determination of adulterants in suspected liquor samples using chemical tests. MOJ Toxicol. 2018;4(4):309–314. DOI: 10.15406/mojt.2018.04.00118

Abstract

The term alcohol, used as a proper name, is applied both to the absolute substance farther specified by chemists as ethyl alcohol, and to its mixtures with smaller proportions of water and slight proportions of other substances. In chemistry, the word alcohol is used as a common or generic name to designate several series of substances. Alcohol consumption has existed in India for many centuries. The quantity pattern of used and resultant problems have undergone substantial changes over the past twenty years. This category, created for revenue purposes, consists in western- style distilled beverages such as whisky, rum, gin. These are made in India under government license and the maximum alcohol content allowed is 42.8%. Besides licensed distilleries, a number of small production units operate clandestinely. The raw materials they used are similar to those in country liquor, but since they evade legal quality controls the alcohol concentration in their products varies and adulteration is frequent. It is common to rum, whisky and gin find samples containing up to 56% alcohol. The hazardous adulterant is industrial methylated sprit which irregularly cause mass toxicity of humans who lose their lives or suffer irreversible eye damage. Since no government revenues are paid, illicit liquor is considerably less expensive then license country liquor, and thus finds a ready market among the poor.

Keywords: alcohol, illicit, toxicity, adulteration

Introduction

Describes a simple, fast method of proving identity or brand on the basis of anion composition. This will enable the testing of suspicions that arise during food control. Spirits are reduced to bottling strength with water from rectified distillates. The ionic content of the water and brand-specific water additives used give rise to differences in the ionic composition of the product. The simple, cost-saving, and reliable method of ion chromatography, which is already approved in water analysis, can therefore be used for the determination of anions in spirits. The Selected decreases the organoleptic features of the raw resources. Flavouring may be added to give the product special organoleptic characteristics, such as a mellow taste.1 According to Karnataka Excise Rules (1997), the ethanol content of whisky, rum and gin (IMFL) are mandated at 42.8% volume by volume (75° proof) and of country liquor or arrack at 33.3% volume by volume (65° proof) at 15/15°C. The Karnataka Excise Act specifies that for the manufacture of IMFL and arrack, the basic material is Rectified spirit [manufactured by distillation of molasses] of not less than 166° proof. Such spirit has to be reduced to strengths of 75° proof or 65° proof depending on whether IMFL or arrack is the final product.2 The authenticity of cognacs, whiskies, rums and similar strong alcoholic beverages can be verified by determining the concentrations of ethanol and the following congeners in the product: methanol, higher alcohols and ethyl acetate. These values are then compared with a database of reference samples. Data from quantitative measurement can be processed statistically using principal component analysis (PCA) based on clustering techniques. PCA is a useful method when the data contain large numbers of variables. PCA yields a small body of new variables that incorporate most of the information in the original variables, facilitating the perception of complicated matrices. Such a work-up is presented by with various brands of whiskies being classified into groups by chemical analysis and PCA. Developed a complex, multi-method analysis for brand identification using statistical processing on the basis of chemical composition, ultraviolet absorption, and pH.3 According to Bureau of Indian Standards (1986), the ethanol content of whisky, rum and gin (IMFL) are mandated at 42.8% volume by volume (75° proof) and of country liquor or arrack at 33.3% volume by volume (65° proof) at 15/15°C. The Bureau of Indian Standards specifies that for the manufacture of IMFL and arrack, the basic material is Rectified spirit (manufactured by distillation of molasses) of not less than166 proof. The ingestion of drinks with the nonqualified raw materials containing high levels of adulterants can cause serious health difficulties like metabolic problems, blindness, permanent neurological damage or even death.4 Suggested about traditionally colorless, extract-free spirits (e.g. vodka and white rum) are identified by the detection of volatile substances using gas chromatography (GC).5 The raw spirit put through rectification is usually produced from grain (rye and wheat) and potatoes. In vodka production, the quality of water is of the utmost importance. For premium vodka brands, demineralized water is filtered through activated carbon to absorb unwanted organic and inorganic materials. Then it is passed through deionization columns, which remove other impurities present. The rectified spirit and demineralized water are blended in the correct proportions. The blended spirit is charcoaled for up to 8 h. The charcoal adsorbs impurities that cannot be removed by distillation alone. The vodka is then reduced to its bottling strength by adding further demineralised water.6

Materials and methods

Determination of ethyl alcohol by volume

Two methods have been prescribed in BIS, namely, method I {Hydrometer method (2302-1962)}, method II {Pyknometer method}. In which method I be used as routine method, whereas Method II as referee method.

Procedure: 200ml of sample were taken in a 500ml. distillation flask containing to it about 25ml. of distilled water and a few pieces of pumice stone {a very light porous rock formed from solidified lava, used in solid form as an abrasive and in powdered form as a polish} was added. And the distillation setup is allowed to heat over thermostat, the distillate is collected in a 200ml. measuring flask. The distillate is allowed to cool at the room temperature; the volume was makeup to 200ml. using distilled water and mixed thoroughly. The specific gravity of the distillate at the required temperature was measured with the help of a hydrometer (routine test) and Pyknometer (referee test). The readings were recorded and compared with the standard value as prescribed in the tables of Alcoholometry.4

Determination of suspended solids

Procedure: The contents of the container were mixed thoroughly by shaking it. 250ml. of it were taken and filtered through a dry tared filter paper. The filter paper was dried over the hot air oven at 110o±2oC. After cooling the sample is weighed. And the results were calculated and expressed to four decimal places.

Determination of esters as ethyl acetate

Procedure: To the neutralized distillate from the volatile acidity determination, 10ml. of standard alkali solution was added and refluxed it on a stream bath for an hour. The sample was cooled and back titrated, the excess of alkali with standard sulphuric acid (1ml. of standard alkali is equivalent to 0.0088gm. of acetate). A blank taking 50ml. of distilled in place of the distillate of the sample is run simultaneously in the same way. The difference in titration value in ml. of standard acid solution gives the equivalent ester.4

Determination of higher alcohols

Three methods have been prescribed in BIS, namely, method I (Komarowski method), Method II. Method I may be used to determine approximately the quantity of higher alcohols in process control. Method II shall be employed for accurate determination while method III shall be used as reference method.4

Method I (Komarowski method)

Procedure: A clean glass–stoppered bottle was taken and washed it twice with the spirit to be tested. Similarly, a small cylinder or a 100ml pipette was washed. 10ml. of sprit were taken in the bottle and to it 1ml. of 1% salicylic aldehyde and 20ml. of conc. Sulphuric acid were added. The mixture was allowed to stand at room temperature for over 12hours. The change in colour was noted and compared with the colour developed after the reaction indicates the amount of higher alcohol as follows:

Colour                                  Amount of higher alcohol

  1. Light yellow only traces
  2. Yellow to Brown About 0.1% (v/v)
  3. Brown About 0.2% (v/v)
  4. Red About 0.5 to 1.0 % (v/v)
  5. Dark red to Black About 0.5 to 1.0% (v/v)

Method II

Procedure: 50ml. of water was added to the solution resulting from the determination of esters and solution is extracted four times with carbon tetrachloride using 40, 30, 20 and 10ml. respectively. The extracts were washed three times with saturated sodium chloride solution and twice with saturated Sodium Sulphate solution. Carbon tetrachloride was filtered out and to it 50ml. of oxidizing mixture was added and refluxed for two hours. The solution was cooled and the reflux condenser was washed with 50ml. of water and transferred it to the distillation flask using50 ml. of water. Distil till about 50ml. is left over the flask. Avoid charring. The distillate is titrated against standard alkali, using phenolphthalein as indicator (1ml. of standard alkali is equivalent to 0. 0088gm. of amyl alcohol.) Run a blank in the same way taking 100ml. of distilled water in place of the distillate of the liquor.

Determination of ash

Procedure: The contents of the container were shaken and evaporated, 100ml. of the sample is on dried, tared dish over water bath. The dish was placed in a muffle furnace maintained at 450o to 500oC for the about an hour. The dish was Cooled in a desiccator and weighed, the results were expressed to four decimal places.4

Determination of copper

Potassium ferrocyanide method

Procedure: Transfer 20ml. of the material into a silica evaporating dish and add 1ml. of dilute sulphuric acid. Heat gently in the beginning and the evaporate almost to dryness on a water bath. Ignite the residue over a smokeless flame to eliminate sulphuric acid. Cool, dissolve the residue in 2ml. of water, add three drops of aqua regia and evaporate to dryness on the water bath. Dissolve the residue in 2ml. of hydrochloric acid and warm gently the residue is dissolved. Add 0.5gm. of ammonium chloride and dilute with 15ml. of water distill in an all glass apparatus. Add dilute ammonium hydroxide as alkaline. Boil off excess of ammonia and filter into a clean Nessler tube. Cool and then render to the solution acidic with acetic acid (3 to 5 drops are usually sufficient). Dilute to 40ml. Add 0.5ml. of potassium ferrocyanide solution, stir and make up the volume to 50ml. {Note: – If the copper is more, a lesser amount of the material may be taken for the test.} Prepare a series of control solutions each containing in 50ml. 0.5gm. of ammonium chloride, 3 to 5 drops of acetic acid and 0.5ml. potassium ferrocyanide solution together with an increase amount of copper, namely 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10ml. of the standard copper solution Compare the test solution with control solutions and note the number of ml. of standard copper solution added in the control solution having, as nearly as possible, the same intensity of color as that of the test solution.4

Result and discussion

These research work was carried out at the India Brewery and Distillery Ltd, Bidar, Karnataka, India. Check the specification of liquors. In the study Qualitative analysis for the presences of illicit content like Copper, Ash, Ethyl Alcohol, Higher Alcohol Content, Acetaldehyde and Fixed Acidity present in the liquor sample were done by using the presumptive colour tests and the results are reported. Content in the samples were analyzed qualitatively and quantitatively for determination of the strength of the liquor sample and results are reported in tables and figures. The quantitative determination of the contents liquors were examined by the prescribed methods of the BIS (3752-1956) guidelines to check their quantity in the suspected liquors as in illicit liquor there me be increased quantity of these contents shown table 1-12 and figure 1-12. These results reported here shows that the suspected liquor shows the presence of illicit components like Copper, Ash, Ethyl Alcohol, Higher Alcohol Content, Acetaldehyde and Fixed Acidity. The quantitative analysis of the suspected and standard samples showed that the contents of standard liquors are within permissible limit of the BIS however the suspected liquor samples showed the exceed limit of these contents.

Estimation of ethyl alcohol (v/v)

The Table 1 and Figure 1 shows the Ethyl alcohol percentage in standard Liquor sample as reported in Whisky, Rum and Gin were found to be under the permissible limits described by BIS. However Table 2 and Figure 2, shows the exceed limit of ethyl alcohol content in the suspected samples of Whisky, Rum and Gin.

BrandsSample 1Sample 2Sample 3
Whisky42.6 % v/v42.7% v/v42.6% v/v
Rum42.9% v/v42.7% v/v42.7% v/v
Gin42.4% v/v42.6% v/v42.6% v/v

Table 1 Estimation of Ethyl alcohol (%) in standard Whisky, Rum and Gin sample

Figure 1 Estimation of Ethyl alcohol (%) in standard Whisky, Rum and Gin sample.

BrandsSample 1Sample 2Sample 3
Whisky48.4% v/v36.5% v/v34.4% v/v
Rum56.4% v/v48.8% v/v46.4% v/v
Gin46.8% v/v54.4% v/v48.6% v/v

Table 2 Estimation of Ethyl alcohol (%) in suspected Whisky, Rum and Gin sample

Figure 2 Estimation of Ethyl alcohol (%) in suspected Whisky, Rum and Gin sample.

Estimation of ash (%)

The Table 3 and Figure 3, showing the Ash percentage in standard Liquor sample as reported in Whisky, Rum and Gin were found to be under the permissible limits described by BIS. However, Table 4 and Figure 4, shows the exceed limit of Ash percentage in the suspected samples of Whisky, Rum and Gin.

BrandsSample 1Sample 2Sample 3
Whisky0.010.0180.017
Rum0.0180.0160.018
Gin0.0190.0180.015

Table 3 Estimation of Ash (%) in Standard Whisky, Rum and Gin samples

Figure 3 Estimation of Ash (%) in standard Whisky, Rum and Gin samples.

BrandsSample 1Sample 2Sample 3
Whisky0.100.100.15
Rum0.150.150.20
Gin0.90.60.6

Table 4 Estimation of Ash (%) in Suspected Whisky, Rum and Gin samples

Figure 4 Estimation of Ash (%) in suspected Whisky, Rum and Gin samples.

Estimation of higher alcohol content

The Table 5 and Figure 5 showing the Higher Alcohol present in standard Liquor sample as reported in Whisky, Rum and Gin were found to be under the permissible limits described by BIS. However, Table 6 and Figure 6, shows the exceed limit of Higher Alcohol in the suspected samples of Whisky, Rum and Gin.

BrandsSample 1Sample 2Sample 3
Whisky2.002.502.00
Rum1.502.001.50
Gin4.204.004.20

Table 5 Estimation of Higher Alcohol in Standard Whisky, Rum and Gin samples

Figure 5 Estimation of higher alcohol in Standard Whisky, Rum and Gin samples.

BrandsSample 1Sample 2Sample 3
Whisky3.503.803.80
Rum3.803.603.80
Gin5.004.804.80

Table 6 Estimation of Higher Alcohol in Suspected Whisky, Rum and Gin samples

Figure 6 Estimation of higher alcohol in Suspected Whisky, Rum and Gin samples.

Estimation of acetaldehyde

The Table 7 and Figure 7, showing the Acetaldehyde present in standard Liquor sample as reported in Whisky, Rum and Gin were found to be under the permissible limits described by BIS. However, Table 8 and Figure 8, shows the exceed limit of Acetaldehyde in the suspected samples of Whisky, Rum and Gin.

BrandsSample 1Sample 2Sample 3
Whisky4.24.44.2
Rum4.184.164.18
Gin0.180.160.18

Table 7 Estimation of Acetaldehyde in Standard Whisky, Rum and Gin samples

Figure 7 Estimation of Acetaldehyde in Standard Whisky, Rum and Gin samples.

BrandsSample 1Sample 2Sample 3
Whisky4.804.604.60
Rum5.05.205.10
Gin0.400.600.40

Table 8 Estimation of Acetaldehyde in Suspected Whisky, Rum and Gin samples

Figure 8 Estimation of Acetaldehyde in Suspected Whisky, Rum and Gin samples.

Estimation of copper

The Table 9 and Figure 9, showing the Copper present in standard Liquor sample as reported in Whisky, Rum and Gin were found to be under the permissible limits described by BIS. However, Table 10 and Figure 10, shows the exceed limit of Copper in the suspected samples of Whisky, Rum and Gin. The Table 11 and Figure 11, showing the Ethyl Acetate present in standard Liquor sample as reported in Whisky, Rum and Gin were found to be under the permissible limits described by BIS. However, Table 12 and Figure 12, shows the exceed limit of Ethyl Acetate in the suspected samples of Whisky, Rum and Gin.

BrandsSample 1Sample 2Sample 3
Whisky0.0080.0090.008
Rum0.0090.0080.009
Gin0.0080.0090.008

Table 9 Estimation of Copper in Standard Whisky, Rum and Gin samples

Figure 9 Estimation of Copper in standard Whisky, Rum and Gin samples.

BrandsSample 1Sample 2Sample 3
Whisky0.0180.0100.015
Rum0.0100.0050.015
Gin0.0160.0150.015

Table 10 Estimation of Copper in Suspected Whisky, Rum and Gin samples

Figure 10 Estimation of Copper in Suspected Whisky, Rum and Gin samples.

BrandsSample 1Sample 2Sample 3
Whisky0.240.280.28
Rum0.180.200.18
 Gin0.580.600.58

Table 11 Estimation of Ethyl Acetate in Standard Whisky, Rum and Gin samples

Figure 11 Estimation of Ethyl Acetate in Standard Whisky, Rum and Gin samples.

BrandsSample 1Sample 2Sample 3
Whisky0.400.600.40
Rum0.200.150.20
Gin0.800.600.60

Table 12 Estimation of Ethyl Acetate in Suspected Whisky, Rum and Gin samples

Figure 12 Estimation of Fixed Acidity in Standard Whisky, Rum and Gin samples.

Conclusion

These research work present the suspected sample of liquor are the various type of contamination and the results are shown that the liquor are not drinking purpose. The adulterants contaminations is a major problem in India. The partial data available around prices, it appears that there is ground for the probability that at minimum some home or locally made beverages are cheaper than mass or factory produced “branded” beverages. In some cases the price difference is quite significant. This means that it is mostly the poorer segments of the society which consume these local beverages, except in the case of some culturally important beverages which might have ceremonial value.

Acknowledgements

None.

Conflict of interest

Author declares that there is none of the conflicts.

References

  1. European Council. Off J Eur Comm L. 1989;160:1–17.
  2. Karnataka Excise Rules (Regulation of Yield, Production and Wastage of Spirit, Beer, Wine or Liquors) (1997).
  3. Lehtonen PJ, Keller LA, Ali-Mattila ET. Z Lebeansm Unters Forsch A. 1999;208:413–417.
  4. Bureau of Indian Standards, Indian standard manual for alcoholic drinks and methods of test, 1986.
  5. Frank W. Qualittssicherung, Organisation und Analy-senmethoden. In: Kolb E editor. Spirituosen Technologie. Behr’s Verlag, Germany: Hamburg; 2002. p. 425–472.
  6. http://www.smirnoff.com

©2018 Pandey, et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and build upon your work non-commercially.

Link:https://medcraveonline.com/MOJT/determination-of-adulterants-in-suspected-liquor-samples-using-chemical-tests.html

5 Women Bartenders who have made their mark

Working in a bar is a great career option for anyone with a creative mind and a drive to learn. The preconceived notion that bartending is a man’s field has been thrown out of the window in the past decade, with women from different social, cultural and academic backgrounds having set the standard high in this industry, by leading some of the best bars, discovering and creating new drinks and whatnot. This International Women’s Day, we’re celebrating some of the top female mixologists from India, who despite the challenges, have broken barriers and showcased their excellent skills behind the bar.

Shatbhi Basu

An alumnus of IHM Mumbai, Shatbhi Basu went on to carve out an illustrious career in bartending and was awarded by the President of India and the Ministry of Women and Child Development as India’s first woman bartender. With an experience of over three decades, Shatbhi runs her own bartending academy in Mumbai called Stir Academy of Bartending. She conducts various workshops across the country and tries to keep this art alive among women. She also authored the first comprehensive guide to alcoholic beverages and cocktails relevant to Indian conditions called ‘The Can’t Go Wrong Book of Cocktails’, and has hosted and created India’s first TV show on cocktails & more – ‘In High Spirits’ on NDTV Good Times. Shatbhi was appointed the first American Whiskey Ambassador, India from 2013 – 2016.

Ami Shroff

Ami Shroff started her career in 2003 at the age of 18. Since then, she has never looked back. Today she is one of India’s few women flair bartenders who is sought after for special events and gigs. If that’s not enough, she is also an accomplished mixologist which makes her a complete professional at the bar. She has managed to perform at over 20 destinations across India and beyond the borders, at over 1000 events, from backyard pool parties to elite corporate functions and conferences. Ami also curates cocktail menus for some of the most acclaimed establishments and has starred in the Netflix documentary Midnight Asia, depicting the mixing of drinks into performing art.

Cindy Lalramngaihzuali

Cindy Lalramngaihzuali started her career in the F&B industry in 2015. After working in different departments, she got inspired after working behind the bar at Ek Bar in Delhi. Later, while doing a bartending course, she started working at Piso 16. After working for a month, she moved to Perch Wine and Coffee Bar, Delhi and takes care of Hoots’ cocktail bar there. One of her favourite cocktails is Hanky Panky – a spirit forward cocktail with gin, vermouth and Fernet Branca. Cindy considers her mother and grandmother as her biggest inspiration.

Sonam Rai

Hailing from a small town in Bihar and having no professional background in mixology, Sonam Rai is a hands-on and quick leaner of the craft. She credits he stint as an assistant bartender at GVK Lounge, Mumbai International Airport for her skills, where she picked up everything she knows from the Bar Manager Abhinay Patil. A big fan of dehydrated fruit garnishes and citrus drinks, try one of her grapefruit creations like the Bloody Habanero Margarita or Gin Grapefruit and Basil Ginger ale. 

Arati Mestry

Arati Mestry’s journey towards being a bartender started with an impromptu cocktail competition in college and with a part-time job at a friend’s bar on weekends. After switching jobs, Arati took a small break to find a good workplace, and within some time landed a stint with BYG Brewski Brewing Co in Bangalore. She got her first job in the pre-opening team in Planet Hollywood Beach Resort, Goa, and then moved to Elephant & Co. Pune which, she considers, was a turning point. Currently she works with Seven Rivers Brewing Co, Taj Group, as a bar manager. Some of her accolades include being runner-up in the American Whiskey Legacy 2020, winner of the Jameson Barrelmen’ Face-Off 2018 (1st Edition), and national finalist in several competitions like the Campari Bartender Competition Asia 2019 – Top 5, the Monkey Shoulder Ultimate Bartender Championship 2019 – Top 5, and the Beluga Signature Bartender Program 2019 – Top 30.

Bacardi promotes Stephanie Macleod to drive premiumisation and growth of its whisky business

Bacardi is promoting Stephanie Macleod, Master Blender for its portfolio of Scotch whiskies, to a newly created role as Director of Blending, Scotch Whisky – a promotion that recognises her talent and 25 years’ experience in crafting Scotch whisky.

A multi-award winning and highly respected figure in the whisky industry, in her new role Stephanie will continue to lead the famed blending legacy of Dewar’s Blended Scotch whisky, William Lawson’s Scotch whisky, and the five Single Malts – Aberfeldy, Aultmore, Craigellachie, The Deveron and Royal Brackla – as Malt Master.

Her expanded remit will also see her develop the people and processes needed to continue to the premiumisation of the range and help deliver on the family-owned spirits company’s ambition to be industry leaders in innovation and quality.

“It’s an exciting time for Scotch whisky right now as demand grows around the world for top quality, beautifully crafted blends and malts. In my new role, I’ll be ensuring we are able to meet this increasing demand – both now and for many decades to come – while continuing to deliver new, exciting and curated Scotch whiskies, spanning our Blended and Single Malt portfolios,” says Stephanie Macleod, Director of Blending, Scotch Whisky, Bacardi.

At the 2022 International Whisky Competition, Stephanie was crowned ‘Master Blender of the Year’ for an unprecedented fourth year in a row, a feat which recognises her world-leading expertise in the art of blending. She is only the seventh Master Blender in Dewar’s 176-year history.

Stephanie became the first female Master Blender for Dewar’s in 2006, following her official three-year training with the then Master Blender. She joined Bacardi, based in Glasgow in 1998, and began her career in whisky as a Sensory Analyst at the University of Strathclyde, Scotland, working on a project which attempted to unlock the maturation secrets of Scotch whisky.

“The consistent quality and flavour of every drop of our Scotch whiskies is thanks to Stephanie and her team. As Director of Blending, she will bring her mastery of the entire whisky-making process – from barley to bottle – to play a pivotal role in delivering our bold growth ambitions for Scotch whisky,” says Dave Ingram, Chief Supply Chain Officer, Bacardi.

Stephanie is passionate about nurturing the next generation of talent within Bacardi and the whisky industry. She leads a team of Blenders and Assistant Blenders who learn from her wealth of knowledge and expertise every day.

As well as heading-up this talented team, Stephanie will continue to share her story and her love of whisky to inspire others around the world to nose, taste and enjoy a sensory experience which is unlike any other.